As I hid beneath the warm covers this morning, I was reminded of the disaster that happened fourteen years ago yesterday and how it had been the beginning of the end for so many people. And, for me too. Even though my ending was not as permanent, it felt like death. I thought back to what happened that day and how it affected everyone in a different way.
I dragged myself out of bed to write. I remember that morning. I had started taking classes again to get a degree I had wanted my entire life and was milling about in my home. Never did I ever turn the television on in the morning but something dragged me to it. I was shocked to see smoke billowing out from buildings behind Peter Jennings on the screen. As I sat staring, one of the buildings just seemed to go down in smoke. I yelled at Peter telling him to turn around to see what was happening. Finally, he announced in a very emotional voice that one of the trade towers had collapsed. And, that wasn’t the end of it. It was a tragedy for the nation, the people and the world and nothing we will ever forget. Nor will I forget how that day was the beginning of the end for my marriage. Or at least the time I can link in my brain to what happened afterward.
I remember calling my husband where he worked to tell him to turn to a different radio station in his classroom as he was unaware of what was happening. I wanted to be with him in that instant. Years after I heard that people either divorced or had babies in connection with their own sense of mortality as they experienced such heightened emotions after the tragedy that happened that day in 2001 involving planes, buildings and so many people that were loved by so many hearts. Such loss fueled more loss or more love. In my case, it fueled one of the most painful losses of my life.
My husband became distant and I wanted to feel closer to him. Three months later, he was gone and I was alone. Just over a year later, I had divorce papers sitting in front of me and still did not understand how it all would affect my life so deeply. The people who had any connection to 9.11 know what this means more than most. But, we were all deeply affected in some way even if we did not have a direct link. Everyone in the world was connected. In my own little world, I felt so alone and apart and disconnected. My husband had feared his mortality and was hell bent on escaping the memories of all of the hard work and hardships we had faced which were nothing in the face of what had happened to those unknowing victims, families and heroic rescue teams on that fateful day. I thought, “….if we could only go back and be able to change things…” Even if we come up with every imaginable way to do this, it just can’t be done. We can only move forward.
Here I have been molting in my present circumstance for over three years…..and fourteen years since the beginning of the end. I feel lost. But, I am not. I just need to make another decision or take another step. Action. I need to take a step forward and not be afraid just as those people did on those planes that day or the people who helped others get out of the buildings or the rescue teams risking their lives. In my case, I am risking what is left of my life staying where I am. It should be easy to just move forward. As they say, it is all about perception.
After experiencing another anniversary of 9.11, I know it is up to me to just get out of this bed every morning and do something. Anything. To reclaim my life. To find someone out there who will love me for who I am and to find someone who will find my writing interesting or find someone who will hire me to do something. It’s my belief and action that will change everything. Just as it has for all of the people who were affected by a tragedy that will forever affect so many lives. Out of such tragedy, hope is born and multiplies beyond any dimension we can imagine. In my little world, hope is all I feel that I can hold onto at the moment.
My heart goes out to all those in the world who have lived with the after effects of any loss and, today, the day after 9.11 to those who are all living with their memories and have moved on to find hope and happiness again despite still feeling the depth of sadness that still resides in the aftermath. And, to all those that feel held back by the past as I do at this very moment, step outside your door today and breathe. Something will come to you as I know it will to me. There is always hope somewhere out there.